Pool Route FAQ's

Swimming Pool Route buyers FAQ's

 

How many pools can be done by someone just starting out per hour/day/week?

 The average is 15 per day / 75 per week. This is all determined by the distance between each pool and how long it takes you to service  each particular pool. You should be able to to service four to six pools per hour, including driving time if the route is condensed and not filled with leaves.

How long does it take to clean a pool? 

It depends on a few things. The first is what type of service is provided. A chemical service can be performed in about 2-3 minutes including walking time to and from the pool and truck. (excluding once a month filter cleanings)

A full service pool could take up to 20 minutes if the pool is not set up to clean properly. I can perform a full service on a pool that is set up correctly in 5-7 minutes including walking to and from truck.

 If you want to learn how to do this you can attend my Online Continuing Education Class located in the Online Store

 

How much training do I get?

 It will be as much as you need. This is negotiated in the Letter of Intent to purchase. However, 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how quickly the buyer catches on is typical. When I purchased a pool route in 1999, I received 3 days training and it was enough to get me started, but I paid for additional training with seminars and classes for several years afterwards.

Do I need any certifications or licenses to clean pools?

 You will need a NSPF Certified Pool operators Course before taking the County Exam.  ( I teach that certification )

In the State of Florida, you will need to be a swimming pool/spa servicing contractor. The details are below, and you can find out this info on myfloridalicense.com.  the synopsis ids that you may be able to take debris out , and add chemicals to a swimming pool but anything that requires a partial disassembly requires a license.

CP and RP - A "swimming pool/spa servicing contractor" means a contractor whose scope of work involves the servicing and repair of any swimming pool or hot tub or spa. The scope of such work may include any necessary piping and repairs, replacement and repair of existing equipment, or installation of new additional equipment as necessary. The scope of such work includes:
  •  the reinstallation of tile and coping, repair and replacement of all piping, filter equipment, and chemical feeders of any type, replastering, reconstruction of decks, and reinstallation or addition of pool heaters;
  •  the installation, construction, modification, substantial or complete disassembly, or replacement of equipment permanently attached to and associated with the pool or spa for the purpose of water treatment or cleaning of the pool or spa requires licensure; and
  •  however, the usage of such equipment for the purposes of water treatment or cleaning shall not require licensure unless the usage involves construction, modification, substantial or complete disassembly, or replacement of such equipment.

 You should always get a business license, but in most cases you don't need any additional certifications to service residential accounts. Commercial accounts require immediate liability insurance, and, in some areas, health certification, workman's' comp, and a contractors license are required.

 

Link to chart of Licenses and what you can and cant not do with a license

Check out my Blog about this topic Here 

Where does one person max out at?

 Typically, 80 to100 accounts including performing all of the repairs, or about 160 pools with only doing service. Either way it will net you about $125,000 - $150,000 annually.

How long is the guarantee period on the accounts I purchase?

 Normally, it's 60 to 90 days, depending on the final multiple (8-12x) used in the selling price  and is negotiable.

 

What is an average range or percentage of any cancellation during the guarantee period?

 If both buyer and seller do what is agreed upon, then the fallout is minimal, ranging from zero to 10%.

Please be advised that the normal attrition rate for accounts are about 20% annually because of slow paying or non paying accounts and people selling or foreclosing on their homes.

How much does a pool route cost?

Typically a business valued at 1 -3 times annual net earnings plus inventory, equipment, and Goodwill.

But because of the very poor bookkeeping and accounting in the current pool industry, A well-established pool route will cost anywhere from 8 to 12 times the monthly service, depending upon density, rates, area, service to repair ratio, and longevity.

Is there room to negotiate?

As a licensed agent in the state of Florida, my answer is NO, because that is what Florida Law requires me to say. However, If you want to make a written offer, depending on the motivation of the seller perhaps we can make a deal.

 

Is there financing available or is the route paid in full?

 

Typically, routes are paid in full less a certain predetermined hold back after the buyer has had the opportunity to personally view the route, if desired. However since I have over 1500 swimming pool companies that i have worked with in the past, I do know some who will finance with a 50% down payment

What time of the year is best to purchase?

 Any month is ok, but for a brand-new buyer, probably the winter months (October through February) because the extreme heat and chemical usage of the summer months. .

Are pools serviced all year long?

 Yes, they are serviced 12 months a year. Once you have a customer , it can be yours fro life. 

 

How much overhead, on average, does it take to operate a pool route business?

 Typically, conservative overhead will range from 10% to 20% which will include your chemical costs, postage, gas, cell phone, etc.

Do I need a garage to store any chemicals, equipment, parts, etc.?

 No. All your pool route needs can be stored and carried in the back of most trucks.

When is the busiest time of the year?

 

Your busiest quarter is usually March, April, May, and June when customers are preparing for the spring and summer usage.

 

Will I be able to buy my cleaning equipment, parts, chemicals at wholesale prices?

 Yes. Once you have established your DBA, business licence, and business checking account.

I recommend the following places.

Proline

The Pool Pros Inc

Pool Water Products

 

Why do people get out of the business and want to sell their route?

 It can range anywhere from health, desire for a career change, geographics, personal reasons or they just have a great business and have too many accounts to handle properly.

 

Could I sell the route down the road if I decide to try a new career?

 Yes. A pool route business will always have a market to resell.

 

Are employees readily available to hire or train?

Yes. You just have to find a niche to locate them… newspapers, colleges, distributors, word of mouth. There is even a place on this site to find them.

 

What is a fair wage to pay a pool cleaner or a repairman, etc.?

A good pool cleaner will be paid $10 - $20 per hour.  You will want to keep all of your costs to about 50% of the gross service billing.

A good repairman will be paid $20 to $30 per hour plus bonuses/commissions.

 

What about insurance? Is there a low-cost way to have liability insurance?

 

Yes. We have two service organizations that cater to low-cost liability insurance, or a buyer can get liability insurance on their own.

I highly recommend Ipssa.com  the local chapter website is  Here

 

What happens if I get sick or have surgery done? Who could cover my route if this happens?

 If you become a member of either service organization, then in case of sickness or surgery, your own chapter members will cover your pools.

 

Are there computer software billing programs that cater to the industry?

 Yes. There are several companies that specialize in pool route software and several software programs that are also adaptable.  The Pool Program or Quickbooks,

 

Are there trade shows, seminars, educational classes available to the trade?

 Always. Most trade shows and classes start around October through March during the off season.

 

How about books, manuals, service publications that I can buy or sign up for membership?

 Yes. pool and spa news or you can research the ever growing content on this site :)

 

Do you have any marketing concepts on how to grow your business without having to purchase additional pools?

 Yes. I have a marketing seminar that I offer every 6 months. Check my Class Calendar

 

Do you provide any materials, such as start-up suggestions, list of pool equipment, supplies, and chemicals needed, upcoming trade show dates, etc.?